Smoked Sausage and Kale Pasta Recipe with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Smoked Sausage and Kale Pasta Recipe with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

In Life:

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone! I know for those of you celebrating the big day tomorrow, you’re pretty ready for it to be here. I know I am. One reason is that it is my birthday! Yay! I will be 35 tomorrow – I’m pretty excited about that. The second reason is that once Christmas is here and gone, it’s nearly time to get back to normal life. I, for one, welcome normal life back. It’s actually been quite a while since I’ve seen it.

The last couple of months of my life have been great but they’ve kept me away from my house by and large. I am super thankful that that time included a week with my mom, step-dad and aunt. I am equally grateful that that time also allowed me to spend three weeks at my in-laws and experience a little taste of real winter weather in upstate New York. These last two months have also allowed me to spend time with my siblings, my niece and nephew, and my brother-in-law and soon-to-be sister-in-law. All in all, it’s been a wonderful time of family and community. It has been a truly wonderful time, and I appreciate it so very much.

But I am looking forward to the New Year coming and going, and along with that the opportunity to reestablish my own life at my own pace. I’ve been able to accomplish lots despite being out of town and traveling a bunch, but I am looking forward to reconnecting with my home and my space. I am looking forward to quiet evenings at home alone with Jeremy where we cook, talk and listen to music. I’m looking forward to finding my peace and solitude once again. For as much as I love my family and treasure the time I spend with them, I’m really a quiet homebody at heart.

What about you? Has this holiday season got you busy and traveling all around? Or have you been able to keep a normal routine and way of life? Let me know in the comments below. I’m interested to see how your life has been unfolding.

In Cooking:

Today we’re going to dive into one of my favorite pasta recipes. It’s a kale and sausage pasta recipe with a roasted red pepper cream sauce. It’s packed with flavor and lots of color, perfect for adding some brightness to these dreary winter days. Best part of this recipe is that the pasta reheats really well so you can have this once for dinner and then for lunches for days after that. Win/win in my book, for sure.

Smoked Sausage and Kale Pasta Recipe with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

I actually first made this pasta back in October. It was mainly a throw-together of things I happened to have in my refrigerator. Leftovers from recipes here and there. It’s made up of delicious ingredients, mostly from the Hollygrove Market and Farm. I pretty much get all my produce at Hollygrove except for the few staples they may not have depending on seasonality (onions, garlic, etc). But when I can get my stuff from Hollygrove, I do. I believe in supporting farmer’s markets and I definitely do my part to contribute to the longevity and livelihood of my favorite farmer’s market.

Smoked Sausage and Kale Pasta Recipe with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

The key ingredients for this dish are so bright and colorful as you can see above. I used a lovely sweet yellow pepper, some delicious hearty green Lacinato kale, delicate shiitakes, onions and a spicy sausage. This flavor combination is one of my favorites. Below you can see everything but the kale cooked down into a caramelized mixture. This truly is the flavor base of this pasta dish.

Smoked Sausage and Kale Pasta Recipe with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

The other big flavor component of the pasta is the roasted red pepper cream sauce. This sauce has three main components that contribute to its success: heavy cream, goat cheese and roasted red pepper relish. Hopefully you remember my roasted red pepper relish from earlier this fall. I used it originally in a Kamut dish for Bob’s Red Mill then subsequently used it on my roasted eggplant and mozzarella sandwich. Here I’ve found yet another use for it: roasted red pepper cream sauce. Oh my, it’s quite delicious. One of my favorite pasta sauces now, for sure.

Smoked Sausage and Kale Pasta Recipe with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Just typing this up gives me a hankering for this pasta once again. It’s probably been at least two months since I’ve made it, and boy, am I ready to have it again! It’s one of those pastas that’s easy to prepare but tastes like it was much more complicated than that. I hope you’ll give this one a try and let me know what you think about it. We loved it – curious to see if that’s just us or if it’s a favorite on many other tables as well. Cheers!

Smoked Sausage and Kale Pasta Recipe with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

Yield: 4-6 servings

Smoked Sausage and Kale Pasta Recipe with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

This smoked sausage and kale pasta recipe features shiitake mushrooms, sweet peppers, onions, garlic and a roasted red pepper cream sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1-16 ounce box of shaped pasta (bow ties or rotini recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large or 2 small colored sweet bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups sliced smoked sausage (about 1 large link)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shiitakes (stems removed)
  • 4 cups kale, ribs removed and sliced about 1/8” thick
  • 1/2 cup roasted red pepper relish
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • Garnish: Parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Set the water to boil for the pasta then start prepping the other ingredients. Once the pasta’s done you should be just about finished preparing everything else in the ingredient list.
  2. In a large pot over medium high heat, melt the butter.
  3. Add the onion, peppers and kosher salt. Stir well. Allow to cook about 15 minutes, until onions and peppers are soft and caramelized. The onions and peppers will likely brown just a little and that’s okay. The peppers and onions will be very soft and sweet at this point.
  4. Add the sausage, stir well and cook another 3-5 minutes until sausage is shiny and shrinks up just a little.
  5. In a separate, smaller pot add the heavy cream and heat over a low flame. The cream can boil but don’t allow to get up to a rolling boil. You want it to reduce just a little to thicken.
  6. Back to the original larger pot - add the garlic and stir well. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add the mushrooms and kale. Cook another 5 minutes or so until mushrooms are shiny and have shrunk a little. The kale will also be very shiny and wilted.
  7. Once you’ve added the kale and mushrooms to the big pot, add the roasted red pepper relish and goat cheese to the small pot. Whisk them in and stir well to combine. Bring this just up to a light boil then turn off.
  8. When the mixture in the big pot is done, turn off the heat. Carefully stir in the cooked pasta. Once well mixed, add the roasted red pepper cream sauce. Stir well once more.
  9. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Prep:25 min

Cook:30 min

Total:55 min

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